Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maestro Classics' Peter And The Wolf

Music class was one of my favorite parts of school!  But the very best days in music were the days we actually tried playing different instruments, and the day we watched or listened to Peter and the Wolf each year.   I was excited to be able to share this musical story with my children several years ago when we found a VHS that included the cartoon version of Peter and the Wolf.   They loved it as much as I always had!

Maestro Classics has recorded the musical story of  Peter and the Wolf onto CD, and I was thrilled to receive a copy of it to review with the TOS Homeschool Crew.   It's a wonderful rendition, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and includes a Russian folk song played by Trio Voronezh.

The Peter and the Wolf CD has the following tracks:

1.  Introduction (3:57 minutes)
2.  Peter & The Wolf musical story  (25:10 minutes)
3.  About the Composer -- Prokofiev  (6:14 minutes)
4.  A Russian Peter  (2:21 minutes)
5.  About the Music  (6:18 minutes)
6.  Peter & the Wolf -- instrumental version  (21:03 minutes)
7.  Invitation to Grandfather's Party  (0:26 minutes)
8.  Kalinka -- Dance Along  (2:45 minutes)

I really enjoyed hearing Peter and the Wolf again.  My younger children asked me to play it again as soon as it was finished.  This would be excellent for music appreciation lessons,  Russian music history, for family listening in the car,  and for a story at nap-time.   It's an excellent addition to every family's curriculum, their music inventory, and their books-on-cd collection.

Though my favorite part of this CD is the actual narrated story of Peter and the Wolf, the other sections are also excellent.  I enjoyed hearing The Russian Peter, which is excerpts from Peter and the Wolf played with traditional Russian instruments by the Trio Voronezh.  The Trio Voronezh also plays a lively Russian dance song at the end, Kalinka.  The instructional sections were engaging, and it was interesting to listen to Peter and the Wolf as just a musical piece, without the narration.

The Maestro Classics'  CD comes with a little booklet that includes dot-to-dots, codes, matching exercises, crossword puzzles, and other activities.  The book also includes information about Russian folk instruments, the composer Prokofiev, the Trio Voronezh, the conductor and the narrator.   I wish these booklets were reproducible, but I don't know that they are.  I did not allow my children to write in it, but told them to work the activities mentally instead,  so we can continue to use the same booklet.

Stephen Simon and Bonnie Ward Simon are dedicated to introducing children to music through musical stories.  They have created 8 Stories In Music CDs, including some with original music:

  • Tortoise And The Hare

  • Peter and the Wolf

  • The Story of Swan Lake

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  • Casey at the Bat

  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

  • Juanita the Spanish Lobster

  • Juanita la longosta espanola

Maestro Classics CDs retail for $16.98, or you can purchase a 3-CD set for $45.00.  A few of the CDs also come with story books in a gift set for $24.99.  You can listen to samples from their CDs at their website.

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,


  1. As soon as I saw "Peter and the Wolf," the music just leapt into my head. I remember sitting on the floor of my parents' bedroom with my little portable record (yes, record) player and listening to the story and learning about the oboe and clarinet. Great memories!

  2. Our entire family really enjoyed this product as well!


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